Prosecutors in Barron County, Wisconsin got their way on Friday. Jake Thomas Patterson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for kidnapping teenager Jayme Closs, and murdering her parents Denise and James Closs on Oct. 15, 2018. To achieve that result, Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright detailed how the defendant committed the crime and ended up getting caught.
Most details were previously known from the criminal complaint released after the Patterson arrest, but the DA did elaborate on the moment where the defendant realized it was all over.
Patterson imprisoned Jayme Closs at his home in Douglas County. He forced her under his bed for hours at a time, and also threatened her to discourage any escape attempts.
This didn’t work.
The 13-year-old finally escaped on Jan. 10. According to authorities, the defendant told her he was going to be away for five to six hours and forced the victim to hide under his bed. While he was gone, Closs cast aside the bins and weights blocking her in, took a pair of Patterson’s shoes, and found help with a local neighbor.
Patterson said that if he returned home a half-hour sooner, he could’ve stopped Closs from running away, according to the DA.
“The defendant arrived at his house that afternoon, and in his words, quote, ‘knew he was fucked,’ unquote, when Jayme wasn’t under the bed,” said Wright.
Defense lawyers Charles Glynn and Richard Jones attempted to at least get their client the chance for parole, so he could have access to treatment while in lock-up.
Glynn argued that the author of the pre-sentence investigation report–which recommended life in prison without the possibility of release–got carried away with emotion and made an unqualified analysis of Patterson’s mental health.
The defense consulted their own mental expert, who determined the defendant had overreacted to loneliness and stress. Jones said that the only reason they didn’t take the case to trial was because their client didn’t allow them to. Patterson insisted on pleading guilty, Jones said. Accordingly, the lawyers tried to present this as a huge mitigating factor. The defendant said in court that he would do anything to bring back Denise and James Closs.
Judge James C. Babler didn’t accept this argument.
The judge called Patterson the “embodiment of evil,” and read aloud a statement in which the defendant declared having fantasies of kidnapping girls and killing their families. The defense often shook his head throughout the hearing. He even interrupted the judge.
When Patterson interrupted the judge, he was saying “why don’t you read the rest of the letter. I wrote a lot more than that and you’re ignoring it” #JaymeCloss
— Lou Raguse (@LouRaguse) May 24, 2019
Closs’s family delivered victim impact statements calling for Patterson to spend the rest of his life in prison. Wright read a letter on Closs’s behalf, in which she said that the defendant can’t stop her from being happy and moving forward with her life.
[Image via Press Pool]